The Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT exam consists of one 30-minute writing task—Analysis of an Argument and requires that you analyze the reasoning behind a given argument and write a critique of that argument. Your ability to think critically and to communicate your ideas through an essay in English is measured. The arguments on the test include topics of general interest related to business, or a variety of other subjects. Specific knowledge of the essay topic is not necessary; only your capacity to write analytically is assessed.
In this section you will discuss how well reasoned you find a given argument. To do so, you will analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. Before writing you will want to take a few minutes to evaluate the argument and plan your response. Your ideas will need to be organized and fully developed. You will want to leave time to reread your response and make revisions, but remember you only have 30 minutes.
Your essay is evaluated using two independent ratings, combined to compute a single AWA score. Firstly, an electronic system will evaluate structural and linguistic features of your essay, including organization of ideas, syntactic variety and topical analysis. Then a trained evaluator will assess the overall quality of your thinking and writing, including how well you: identify and analyze important features of the argument, organize, develop, and express your ideas, provide relevant supporting reasons and examples and use standard written English.
These questions are designed to measure your ability to understand words and statements, understand logical relationships between significant points, draw inferences, and follow the development of quantitative concepts. Specifically, the following reading skills will be tested: main idea, supporting idea, inference, application, logical structure, and style.